MPAA Ratings Replace the Hays Code from A History of the Art of Adaptation [Video] (1:01)

You Can Please Some of the People Some of the Time… None of the People All of the Time: A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More!

Dr. Rosanne Welch speaks on A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More! at the California State University, Fullerton Library

Part of the program series for Dune by Frank Herbert: A 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Watch this entire presentation

MPAA Ratings Replace the Hays Code from A History of the Art of Adaptation [Video] (1:01)



The Hays Code stayed with us until 1968. Finally we let it go and it was replaced by the Motion Picture Film Rating system that we’re all used to today. So your G, your PG, etc, etc. One of my favorite funny stories is that an R rating — and there’s listing of everything you have to do to see what rating you earn. The R rating can be earned if you use the F-word more than once in consecutive conversation. So The King’s Speech, which won the Oscar a couple of years ago was originally released with an R rating, because when he’s stuttering he says the F-word 4 or 5 times in a row on one sentence. That’s entirely – nobody has sex in that movie. Nobody does anything that — it’s a G-rated movies. It entirely is except for that moment. So once it won the Oscar that cut that one piece out and they re-released it as a PG film, because then they knew families wanted to come see it. I think that’s hilarious. So there are rules that come off of the Hays Code, but that work in our fim system now, but they’re not as bad as the Hays Code.

About this talk

Dr. Rosanne Welch (RTVF) speaks on the craft of history of film adaptations from the controversy of the silent film Birth of a Nation (protested by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1915) to Breakfast at Tiffany’s (to which author Truman Capote famously said, “The only thing left from the book is the title”) to The Godfather . Naturally, the behemoth in adaptation – Harry Potter (which depended on the relationship created by adapter Steve Kloves and author J.K. Rowling) will be discussed, as will the subject of this month’s celebration: Dune.

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm

About Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch is a professor in the Low Residency MFA in Screenwriting Program from Stephens College, California State University, Fullerton, Mount San Antonio Community College and Cal Poly Pomona.  In 2007, she graduated with her Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S./Film History from Claremont Graduate University.  She graduated with her M.A. in 20th Century United States History from California State University, Northridge in 2004.

Welch is also a television writer/producer with credits for Beverly Hills 90210 , CBS’s Emmy winning Picket Fences and Touched By An Angel . She also writes and hosts her own podcasts on, her first one titled “Mindful(I) Media with Dr. Rosanne Welch.”

Her upcoming book, “Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture” will be published in Fall 2016

Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space are two books she has written. Los Angeles Times and the Journal of Screenwriting hold some of her published articles.

Dr. Rosanne Welch Web Site and Blog

Follow Dr. Welch on Twitter

Dr. Rosanne Welch on YouTube

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.